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(DOH) issued a press release last week containing guidelines related to the Treatment of Gender Dysphoria for Children and Adolescents.

As you may know, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued a press release last week containing guidelines related to the Treatment of Gender Dysphoria for Children and Adolescents
As stated, the press release is guidance and does not create a requirement for health care practitioners.
According to our practice framework, and regardless of condition or diagnosis, occupational therapy practitioners support clients by offering evidence-based treatments which affirm the lived experience, encourage exploration of identity, provide a safe and supportive environment, maximize strengths and resources, reflect on consequences of treatment approaches, facilitate participation in preferred roles, and prevent loss of engagement in meaningful occupations. 
Clinicians with specific questions regarding the guidance should contact the DOH directly. 
Clinicians should also feel free to reach out to [email protected] with comments, concerns or to speak with practitioners familiar with these topics. 
FOTA will continue to share information as it becomes available.
Your Government Affairs Team"

OT Scope of Practice Legislation Stalls in Senate

OT Scope of Practice Legislation Stalls in Senate [Government Affairs]

The 2020-2021 Legislative Session was the first of its kind for the State of Florida. In response to the global pandemic, the State Capitol closed its doors to the public around March 2020 and only reopened to the public in May of 2021. During this time legislators and relevant stakeholders met virtually for committee meetings, to provide testimonies, and execute the legislative process that, by Florida law, usually requires physical presence. Despite these challenges, the Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) was still able to continue service throughout to its constituents by advocating for an updated OT Scope of Practice (Scope).

The Occupational Therapy Practice Act had not been updated in over two decades. For the past two years, FOTA has been working with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy, and our sister professions to thoughtfully modernize language that reflects current & future practices. Prior to the start of the 2021 legislative session, FOTA enlisted the sponsorship of Representative Traci Koster and Senator Jennifer Bradley. These Bill sponsors were chosen because of their known track record for service to Florida’s citizens and involvement in committees that administer bills of this nature. The Governmental Affairs committee for FOTA and legislative representatives, Johnston & Stewart, vetted language with House and Senate staff while reviewing the language with key personnel from the Department of Health and Board of Occupational Therapy. FOTA’s Scope Bill was filed early to allow ample time for movement through committees. The House Bill 543 passed its two committees of reference and the entire House chamber unanimously. The Senate Bill 990 passed 2 of its 3 committees unanimously. When it was time for the final Senate Appropriations Committee vote, the Bill was surprisingly left off the agenda. Communication with the Appropriations Chair and the President’s office revealed no concerns other than they simply ran out of room on the agenda. It was sometime later FOTA learned the primary limiting factor was technical language included within the Bill referencing the Gardiner Scholarship Program (GSP). Because the GSP was repealed and merged into a different program during the same session, certain language in the OT Scope was rendered obsolete which ultimately prevented inclusion into law this session.

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Medicare OTA payment differential

The Medicare OTA payment differential went into effect on January 1, 2022 and many occupational therapy practitioners still have questions regarding what the policy means for OTAs. 
Additionally, AOTA has resources that are immediately available. Please feel free to share this recording of the Special OTA Confab: Legislative and Regulatory Changes with your membership. The recording provides both the legislative background of the policy and a detailed discussion of when the modifier should be applied. An article and video can also be found on the AOTA website on how to apply the modifier and an easy to read handout is linked here.


The Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) is proud to continue its service to members and consumers of OT during the 2021 Florida Legislative Session.  Thus far we have spoken to at least eight different legislators directly involved in the examination and vetting of our proposed updates to the Occupational Therapy Scope of Practice (Scope). Your FOTA representatives have also met with other relevant stakeholders such as The Florida Board of OT and the Florida Department of Health to solicit feedback and support of these essential updates to our Scope.

Now it’s your turn!

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Advocacy Request for Florida OTs

Florida OT's,
On August 3, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed FY 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Rule and Fact Sheet. Despite previous collaborative advocacy efforts, the proposed rule contains a 9% cut to reimbursement for therapy services to offset the increases to the value of office visit evaluation and management (E&M) codes that primarily benefit primary care physicians. We believe therapy practitioners cannot withstand the cuts required to keep the budget increases neutral. Changes must be made to protect therapy services. 
As this is a Federal initiative, we are asking that you reach out to CMS and your congressional members directly to express your concerns. We have provided a template to help guide your discussion, attached here. Including your own personal and client stories in the letter will have the greatest impact on those voting for or against these measures. Also included here is a link to your Florida Congressional Members and a link to AOTA's stance on the matter. 
Your dedication to health and advocacy is why the profession continues to enjoy industry leading growth and increasing recognition in medicine. 
Thank you,
FOTA Governmental Affairs

questions? contact [email protected]



By: Nancy Marin OTR/L, C-NDT, IYT
“What is your conceptual model of OT?” I will never forget this first question by the dean of OT upon entering into OT school. I believe my answer at the time was “Helping individuals function as independently as possible regardless of disability.” I almost failed my first semester, crying over having to learn and remember 52 origins and insertions in neuroanatomy to understanding physics from my professor whose primary language was Chinese.
Thirty six years later, after working in a variety of settings to include nursing and rehab center, school system, private outpatient clinic to owner of a small private practice, who would have ever imagined that this ‘ol’ time therapist would be providing Telehealth services, learning and understanding the lingo, technology, screen sharing, various platforms, and understanding the laws and regulations for insurances and what is or isn’t a HIPPA compliant platform. My mind continues to race, but as a seasoned therapist, an OT all the way down through to my very core, I’m working hard to keep a balance of work, play and rest. I share what knowledge I think I have with others so we can remain healthy and whole.
One of my favorite shows WAY back in the day was the Jetsons. I feel as if I am now the main character in this cartoon (except without Elroy), only now living this is in real time. Who would have ever imagined thirty six years later in my career, that I would be treating children of all ages and disabilities through a computer? After these past three weeks, I am getting into some kind of routine. I am teaching yoga to adults through Zoom, helping my 91 year old mother stretch and keep her brain active through Alexa, and a variety of therapeutic activities to my clients through a HIPPA compliant platform. I am reflecting on my past life as an OT to what is now the new norm of treating. However, as a certified NDT therapist, who is used to handling and facilitation of babies, toddlers, children and teens to adult CVA’s, I am having to figure out how to be creative (although I have to believe I’ve been a fairly creative OT) and let me tell you, it’s exhausting.
Emotionally and spiritually, my heart is aching for every single citizen. Missing out on major milestones, life’s events, graduations, weddings, travel, conferences, seeing grandchildren be born and celebration of birthdays. For our senior citizens who are isolated in nursing homes and ALF’s. For all staff members who are trying to stay afloat and care for our seniors including my own 91 year old mother who I cannot see, other than through a small little box named ‘Alexa’; which in my mother’s own words is our life line!!! For the grocery store workers, truck drivers and sanitation workers. My prayers are incessant for those that are suffering from this horrible virus, for the physicians, nurses and other essential workers who care for them and us, while putting their own life at risk.
For all of us therapists who are trying to maintain some kind of normalcy for our families we serve, who are barely surviving with home who are barely surviving with home schooling, on line learning, running their own business or trying to keep their job in some way, shape or form. To be able to pay their bills and still manage to sit there with their child while I guide them to do therapy.
I am just a mother of 2 grown children, a grandmother to 2 beautiful grandsons, an aunt, a great aunt, a sister, a daughter, a wife and friend to many. I feel that my life as a pediatric OT has come full circle, allowing me to truly treat across the life span.
Nancy Marin, OTR/L, C-NDT, IYT, a graduate of FIU, is a pediatric OT with over 36 years’experience is originally from South Florida with a career spanning from senior rehab, to school system and pediatric outpatient center (Pediatric Therapy Associates in Plantation) where she developed a strong foundation and love of NDT (from great mentors). Nancy relocated in 2001 when she began a private pediatric practice, Occuplay, Inc. in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida. Nancy is certified in NDT, Baby treatment, Integrative Yoga Therapy and The Listening Program-with Bone Conduction and teaches an Adaptive Yoga/ NDT course extensively through the United States with Ciao Seminars. Nancy incorporates evidence Nancy incorporates evidence based practice utilizing NDT, Yoga and other holistic approaches both within the clinic and natural environment settings. She is passionate about individuals with neurological differences and always ‘Presumes Competence’ with each and every individual she works with. In addition to her full time pediatric practice, Nancy teaches adult yoga class and see’s the ‘Oh-mazing’ benefits across the life span. 



These are unprecedented times that we are living in, as we continue to face a pandemic and social injustices that are pervasive throughout society. As an association, FOTA is here to support our profession by reaching out to occupational therapy practitioners and the community to meet their needs. There have been various meetings, sessions, resources, and initiatives orchestrated by the team of volunteers and our lobbyists to keep everyone abreast of changes and equip you with the tools to navigate these times.

FOTA has been leveraging technology, relationships, and other partnerships to keep everyone connected and equipped with support and information. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we have provided resources, activities, and opportunities for practitioners to come together while staying safe and informed. During the month of April in celebration of our profession, FOTA Connect was launched to provide a way for practitioners to communicate, network, and be informed on practice issues. We held 5 consecutive weeks of livestream sessions, with members receiving free continuing education, on the following topics: Telehealth, Entrepreneurship, Advocacy, Leadership, and Financial Planning. Additionally, in light of recent awareness brought to social injustices and racism, FOTA hosted a Listen, Learn, and Lead: Be the Change session, which was an intimate conversation attended by students and practitioners. We will continue to provide such opportunities as a member benefit and seek your assistance to volunteer, join in, and support such initiatives.

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Update: Telemedicine Guidance for Early Intervention Services

Florida Medicaid Health Care Alert

April 27, 2020

Provider Type(s): 81, 82, and 83

Update: Telemedicine Guidance for Early Intervention Services

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COVID-19 Update and Resources April 1

 April 1, 2020 

COVID-19 Update and Resources 
Resource link

Amidst the continuing changes as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus), I wanted to reach out and update everyone on the most current resources, supports, and activities. As it stands, Governor DeSantis has issued a stay-at-home order for the next 30 days. With April being Occupational Therapy month, FOTA wants to continue and support occupational therapy practitioners and establish a sense of community. 

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Introducing FOTA Connect - OTMonth Live Steams

Please join us this APRIL in celebrating OT MONTH! 
We will be hosting a series of live streams throughout the month.
Join our Facebook group FOTA Connect (link below)  
FOTA members are eligible to receive a CE!  JOIN FOTA

FOTA Connect Group
Private group · 6 members
Join Group

The Role of Occupational Therapy: Providing Care in a Pandemic


The Role of Occupational Therapy: Providing Care in a Pandemic

This is an unprecedented time in health care that is evolving every day. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many organizations and occupational therapy practitioners are struggling with the question, “what is the appropriate role of occupational therapy during a pandemic?” Guidance from federal agencies is continually shared as the status of the pandemic within the United States is evolving on a daily basis. AOTA urges occupational therapy practitioners to continue to check guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the most up-to-date information. More

COVID-19 Update and Resources

 COVID-19 Update and Resources

March 22, 2020 

FOTA recognizes the impact of Covid-19 (coronavirus) on individuals, families, the nation, and our world as we all adapt to these uncertain times. OT Practitioners across the state of Florida have all been challenged to remain healthy and ensure safe practices to prevent further community spread. As many of you have worked in various sectors or continue to be on the front lines, the influx of executive orders at the local, state, and national level can cause confusion as to what steps to take next. Of the utmost importance is to ensure your safety and that of your family, while following orders to reduce and prevent community spread.

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The Metamorphosis of Identity through the Chrysalis of Fieldwork Education

I was recently inspired by Stephen Covey’s internationally acclaimed book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 2004). In it he states, “Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground and there’s no greater investment” (Covey, 2004, p. 70). This reminded me of the term reflective practitioner (Adam, Peters, & Chipchase, 2013; Bannigan, & Moores, 2009; Knightbridge, 2019; O’Reilly, & Milner, 2015; Parham, 1984), and the process of self-discovery that educators hope will occur during their OT and OTA students’ level II fieldwork journeys. Self-awareness, self-discovery, and the process of self-reflection are key tenants in identity creation, which in this context, is a level II fieldwork student’s ability to establish a clinical identity as an entry-level prepared practitioner. Quality fieldwork educators are key in this identity transformation from student to occupational therapy practitioner. The maturation process that culminates in successfully passing fieldwork, thus allowing graduation, is only the beginning of the self-growth journey that has just begun for these new practitioners. As fieldwork educators, awareness of our own self-growth equips us to mentor these future colleagues and model compassionate and effective service delivery. Our ability to reflect on our clinical competencies and the identity transformations that continually occur throughout our careers and lived experiences empower our distinct value as occupational therapists. It elevates and inspires human potential within us, our clients, our colleagues, and our students. Allow me to reflect on a recent self-growth journey of my own.

This year I chose to say yes to a professional opportunity that required significant self-awareness, self-reflection, and proactivity towards my career as an occupational therapy practitioner; a valued role that I take great pride in, and one that significantly contributes to my self-efficacy and sense of purpose. I said yes to academia after more than 17 years in adult inpatient rehabilitation – an area of clinical practice that will forever remain my first love. This one “big” decision, of saying yes to a new job as an Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC), was much more than a singular decision made in a one-dimensional context. It required countless smaller, yet just as “big” decisions, whose consequences affected multiple individuals, systems, processes, and relationships across a myriad of environments, both personal and professional. My decision could not be made without an awareness of the occupational disruptions that my self-perceived “big” decision would surely cause in my colleagues’ lived work experiences, as well as in their perceptions of me as their boss. It was a decision that required months of continual assessment, reassessment, reflection, and consideration of my valued roles, habits, routines, goals, co-occupations, relationships, and performance abilities. Ultimately it was a decision that challenged my occupational therapy identity (Laliberte-Rudman, 2002; Laliberte-Rudman & Dennhardt, 2008).

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FOTA 2020 Hill Day Update

FOTA 2020 Hill DayFlorida Occupational Therapy Association 
2020 Hill Day Update



Every Legislative Session, representatives and students from the Florida Occupational Therapy Association travel to Tallahassee to advocate on behalf of the occupational therapy profession. Our firm strategically selects members of the Legislature for FOTA to meet with, based upon the organization’s legislative priorities at the time. In October, during interim committee weeks, FOTA conducted a mini-Hill day focused on increasing Medicaid reimbursement. There is significant work to be done on this issue but starting the conversation in advance helps to build champions for the future.

The 2020 Legislative Session is early this year due to the elections, with the 60-day Session commencing on January 14th and ending on March 13th. Due to scheduling, the regular FOTA Hill Day was conducted during the Legislative Session, providing an opportunity for FOTA members to discuss legislation already moving through legislative process.

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Statistics of number of people with heart failure 5.7 million people have heart failure with 670,000 incident cases each year (Go et al., 2013). Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the most frequent diagnosis for hospital admissions and readmissions (Miniño, Murphy, Xu, & Kochanek, 2011). 25% of patients with heart failure are readmitted in 30 days (Desai & Stevenson, 2012). Evidence suggests that many hospital readmissions are related to low functional status and reduced physiological capacity (Arbaje et al., 2008).

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And The Award Goes To....


 This #FOTA19 , as part of our yearly conference, we want to recognize all of our FOTA  members that have made remarkable contributions to our field of Occupational Therapy. There is just one thing ... we need your help to make this happen! We encourage you to nominate individuals that you feel have set the bar and exemplify the core values and ethics of Occupational Therapy. This is the opportunity to acknowledge, celebrate, and show our shared passion and appreciation with members of our community! Help us continue to celebrate and empassion our members by taking a moment to complete the nomination form. Awards will be released during the FOTA Annual Membership Meeting to be held during the FOTA annual conference.

Click to Nominate for an Award 

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Leadership Bulletin

FOTA Leadership Bulletin 2/28/2019

 Hello all, here is an update bulletin based on the minutes of our recent FOTA board meeting Conference call in February.

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FOTA Promo Video 2019

Hill Day 2019

FOTA Hill Day in Tallahassee, FL,  January 22 at the Capitol Building, 2nd Floor Rotunda at 8am. We were joined by our lobbying firm, Corcoran & Johnston (C&J), to establish a presence with legislators in the rotunda, promote an awareness OT on the hill, as well as engage in sit-down meetings individually with specifically selected legislators at their offices as arranged C&J. Our objective was to raise awareness of the distinct value of OT in serving Floridians, and addressing specific issues of access to care, protection and promotion of OT practice across our state. We hope many OTs join us for Hill Day in the years to come. Part of your membership dues go to ensure that FOTA as skilled advisement from our lobbying firm on strategies to promote and protect OT in Florida.  FOTA relies on membership support to advocate successfully. More members are needed to increase our ability to influence change.
Thanks to OT Students from FAMU and OTA Students from Keiser U provided a positive presence and enthusiastic representation for the future of Occupational Therapy in Florida. Students and faculty attended some meeting with legislators, toured the House and Senate Chambers, and mingled with the leaders coming and going in the Rotunda. A student poster presenting research on the important issue pain management through OT was presented near our FOTA tables. Informational Brochures were available for all passers by.

The FOTA Governmental Affairs Co-Chairs, President, our Lobby Firm--Corcoran & Johnston, and Members had 16 different legislators and their staff over the course of a full-day schedule. We discussed issues important to the practice of OT and the service to our clients over several talking points including the Opioid Crisis, Pain Management, Mental Health in Schools, Medicaid, and Telehealth Practice. Our meeting included leaders on important health policy, and human services committees. We thank them for a receptive discussion about OT in FL. I have included some pics of my hand-held schedule and talking points from the day of meetings.

Hill Day Schedule  of Legislator Office Visits PDF

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A New Year's Blog: From the President

From the President

Brent Cheyne, OTD, OTR/L

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Amazon searches starting from benefit FOTA!